Update: 100 year old Frenchman smashes 100km record
"I did better than expected" he says, coming in more than 40 minutes faster than he hoped...

A French centenarian has won his age group record for the 100km cycle, frinishing 300 laps of a velodrome in Lyon, southeast France, in 4 hours, 17 minutes, 27 seconds, averaging 23.305 km/h.

With a time that would please many a quarter of his age, the 100 year old  Robert Marchand told reporters, "I did better than I expected".

Yesterday he said that he wanted to come in under five hours.

To put his speed into perspective, last February he kept up a 24.251 kph pace to set the world hour record for his age group in Switzerland.

"He's an example for humanity, he gives people hope," said Gerard Mistler, the president of Marchand's cycling club

Earlier this year, he revealed: “For the last five years I have decided not to go for rides of more than 100km. There is no point going overboard. I want to keep cycling for some time yet.”

He has ridden the Ardèchoise every year since the sportive was launched in 1992, when he was aged 79, and even has a mountain pass in the area named after him, the Col Robert Marchand, which has an elevation of 911 metres – the last three digits of his year of birth.

Marchand, a former gym instructor to the Paris fire brigade who also boxed and was a decent weightlifter in his younger days, has attracted the attention of scientists keen to find out what lies behind his vitality.

Every three months, he undergoes tests at the Inserm public research institute in Switzerland.

"They told me I had the constitution of a 55-year-old man, they think it's genetic," he explained.

"I have never deprived myself of anything: not wine, not food, not women, but always with moderation."

When asked if he planned to get any artificial help for his ride, Marchand insisted: "The only doping for me is water with a spoonful of honey that I put in my canteen - and that's it."

"If I was doping, though, maybe I could hit 35 km/h," he added.

<p>After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.</p>


workhard [397 posts] 3 years ago

Chapeau, Monsiuer!

nowasps [367 posts] 3 years ago

Am I to understand it, that immoderate consumption of women will be deleterious to my performance on the bike?  13

The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago

Not as such, but you may need to purchase a tandem.

Baldy1alex [55 posts] 3 years ago

Good on Ya Robert it just go's to show that a Little of what ya like is good for You!
More Power to your elbow as they say here in N.Ireland
or maybe it should be to Your Knee's

Alan Tullett [1564 posts] 3 years ago

Amazing guy. Hope I can last that long.

OldRidgeback [2530 posts] 3 years ago

Hope I'm in as good shape as him at that age.

musicalmarc [91 posts] 3 years ago

hope I'm as in as good sharp as him at half that age.